An eleven-song emotional cruise

Staying In

NEW ALBUM Tuam-based Mayo native Seamus Ruttledge, AKA Ruttlemush. Pic: Andy Newman

Ruttlemush’s ‘Strange’  a quality album with lush production

Review
Liamy MacNally

A new album from Séamus Ruttledge is always a good day. ‘Strange’ is his fourth album and it is laced with beautiful listening. Released under his stage name, Ruttlemush, the Tuam-based Mayo native is at his best with sharp writing, stunning melodies and honest singing.
A depth of honesty permeates the whole album as we meet a mystery woman, hear talk of love, delve into the bible, walk down the highway of regret with a deep, deep sense of loss. Darkness prevails alongside anger; questions arise and the human spirit bounds towards the light with the promise of future love. Ruttledge documents this trip in a profound way, voyaging across the universe of emotions, yet we are all soundly strapped in.
The album’s lush production surges with layer upon layer of rich sounds. Producer Axel Grude has brought great depth and warmth to Ruttlemush. One cannot help but feel shades of Daniel Lanois, the noted Canadian producer/songwriter. The album is like a multi-layered painting rainbowed in rich colour. Musical influences include Van the Man alongside Lennon and McCartney, yet the songs are unmistakably Séamus Ruttledge. This is a gem of an album.
Standout tracks include ‘Long Story’, ‘Strange’, ‘The Bible and the Gun’ and ‘New Time’. We move from ‘Seems like the winds have changed / Flowers won’t grow again /All is rearranged…’ and ‘The walls came tumbling down / Between the bible and the gun / I found you… to ‘Sing all your songs with feeling / At the start of every day / When a new sun / shines upon you / And darkness melts away / Your past no longer haunts you / Only beauty still remains’.
And ‘Beautiful Lust’ is a perfect opening track. A surprise bonus track comes on stream after 30 seconds of silence! ‘Spin My Wheel’ wants to ‘Walk me in the meadows / Spin my wheel / Touch me gently /I have secrets to reveal /To you…’
Recorded at Songcraft Studio in Dunmore, Co Galway, with musicians Rick Harris, James Muldowney and Mike Ivory (all on guitar), Gerry McHugh (percussion), Lana Ritt (choir vocals), with impeccable production from Axel Grude, Séamus Ruttledge has created a truly remarkable album taking us on an eleven-song emotional cruise.
Download or stream from ruttlemush.bandcamp.com/album/strange.